Return to Title IV Refund Policy

Students are entitled to retain only that portion of federal student aid they earned based on the time in attendance. Consistent with federal regulations, the amount of federal aid that must be returned to the federal government is based upon the percentage of time the student remained in attendance during an academic term.

If a student is dismissed, withdraws, takes a leave of absence or stops attending before the first day of classes, all federal aid is returned to the appropriate program.

Students who stop attending and initiate an official withdrawal or leave of absence process but who were enrolled beyond 60 percent of the payment period (semester) are considered to have earned 100 percent of the aid received and will not owe a repayment of Federal Title IV grant funds.

When a student has received Federal Title IV funds in excess of their eligibility, it is the student's responsibility to return the unearned funds. William Paterson University policy is to return the unearned funds for the student to the appropriate programs. The Higher Education Act (484) (b)(2)(c), however, requires that only 50 percent, (one-half), of grant aid received be returned. The University will calculate this amount for the student’s notification.

Unearned grant money must be returned to the Department of Education within 45 days of notification or a repayment agreement must be set up within that time frame in order to maintain aid eligibility for future enrollment periods. All repayments are to be made to:

P.O. BOX 4169
GREENVILLE, TX 75403-4169

The formula for calculating the percentage of period completed is as follows:

Percentage of Period Completed = Number of calendar days completed in the period/Total number of calendar days in the period (Excluding 5 or more consecutive days of institutionally scheduled breaks).

Any Loan funds borrowed must be repaid according to the terms of the Promissory Note.

*Title IV funds include, for the purposes of this policy: Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal PLUS Loan (Graduate Student), Federal Plus Loan (Parent), Federal Pell Grant, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) and Federal Teach Grant. Federal Work-Study (FWS) funds are not included because wages are earned and cannot be returned once earned.   

Returned federal funds will be applied to the following programs, as appropriate, in the order listed below:

Unsubsidized Direct Stafford Loan
Subsidized Direct Stafford Loan
Federal Perkins Loan
Direct PLUS (Graduate Student)
Direct PLUS (Parent)

Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
Federal TEACH Grant

Other Federal Title IV programs.
Note: Refunds are not required for the Federal Work Study Program.

Post-Withdrawal Funds

If the amount disbursed to the student is less than the amount the student earned, the remaining amount is considered to be a post-withdrawal disbursement. Post-withdrawal eligibility can be used to credit outstanding charges on the student's tuition account. William Paterson University has 30 days from the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew, to offer any amount of the post-withdrawal disbursement to the student, (or parent for PLUS loans). The student (or parent) may accept or decline some or all of the post-withdrawal disbursement that is not credited to the student's account. The student or parent must respond within 14 days of the date that the institution sends the notification to be eligible to receive the post-withdrawal disbursement. If the post-withdrawal disbursement is accepted, the university must make payment within 180 days of the date of the institution's determination that the student withdrew. If the student (or parent) does not respond to the institution's notice, no portion of the post-withdrawal disbursement of loan funds can be credited to the student's account. However post-withdrawal of grant funds can be credited to resolve outstanding tuition and fees charges without the student’s permission.

Once the Federal Return Policy, or Institutional Refund Policy has been used and returns distributed according to the refund schedule, state funds will be returned to the appropriate programs in the following order:

  1. NJ Class Loan
  2. NJ Tuition Aid Grant Program (TAG)
  3. NJ Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF)
  4. NJ Distinguished/Urban Scholar Program
  5. NJ Garden State Scholarship

Unofficial Withdrawals

William Paterson University must establish whether federal financial aid recipients, whose term record shows zero (0) earned credits because of a grade of F or W, have unofficially withdrawn from the university. If they have, a Return to Title IV calculation must be done using the last date of attendance through the attendance record to determine the percentage of unearned aid and could result in a reduction of federal aid for the award period. Should it become necessary to cease attendance in all courses, it is in your best interest as an aid recipient to follow the official withdrawal procedure through the Registrar’s office.